Rajasthan's Robin Bist formed one half of a partnership that frustrated Hyderabad on day three
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|Railways 227 and 53 for 2 need another 37 runs to beat Andhra 208 and 108 (Parida 4-10, Anureet Singh 4-29)
Four wickets apiece from young medium-pacer Anureet Singh and veteran spinner Kulamani Parida put Railways on course for their first win of the season at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. The two combined to skittle Andhra out for 108, and Railways lost two wickets before close in pursuit of the 90 runs needed for victory.
Railways finished day two on 208 for 8 and added a further 19 to their total. Then Anureet, in his second appearance, struck with the new ball to leave Andhra 15 for 3. Parida ran through the lower order with 4 for 10 in 7.3 overs, while Anureet added a fourth to take his tally to 11 wickets in two games.
Railways promoted Yere Goud to open alongside Sanjay Bangar, but both were back inside within eight overs. Once again it was Andhra's new-ball pair of Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna and Paidikalva Vijaykumar who did the early damage. Milind Tamhane and Harshad Rawle took the score to 53 for 2, and Railways need just 37 more to win.
Sanjay Bangar was pleased with the performances of both Railways heroes. "Anureet's first spell did the trick," he told the Hindu. "Then Parida reminded us of the older days and showed that with a little assistance from the pitch he can be dangerous."
Mumbai 214 (Malvi 56, Balkrishna Jadeja 4-41) trail Saurashtra 643 for 4 by 429 runs
A successful opening spell from debutant left-arm medium-pacer Balkrishna Jadeja set up a huge 429-run lead for Saurashtra on day three against Mumbai in Rajkot. Balkrishna took 4 for 41 to help shoot Mumbai out for 214 in the last over of the day, and it it remains to be seen whether Saurashtra enforce the follow-on.
Jaydev Shah, Saurashtra's captain, declared at an overnight 643 for 4. Mumbai failed to gather any momentum with the bat, as Balkrishan removed the in-form Ajinkya Rahane for 0 in his first over. He quickly added Amol Mazumdar (0) and Wasim Jaffer (12) with an incisive new-ball spell. Mumbai were soon 28 for 4 and took lunch on 56 for 5.
Hiken Shah (47) and Sairaj Bahutule (42) added 59 for the sixth wicket, but Shah's dismissal at 113 for 6 was proceeded by a three-wicket burst. Usman Malvi (56) and Dhaval Kulkarni (19) frustrated the hosts with a 72-run stand for the last wicket, the highest of the innings. Kamlesh Makwana (2 for 32) and Ravindra Jadeja (2 for 62) chipped in.
Mumbai coach Praveen Amre was critical of the shot selection from the batsmen and believed it had caused the debacle. "We had a bad start and credit goes to Jadeja who bowled superbly," he told DNA. "Also there were some irresponsible shots from our batsmen."
"It was a good batting track but we were unfortunate that Wasim fell sick at the start. He came at No. 5. He took medicines before coming into bat. Amol Muzumdar too was unfortunate to get out for a duck off the first ball. Our openers didn't click too. Overall everyone was responsible and credit to the Saurashtra bowlers who bowled very well. We now have to save the match,"
Saurashtra coach Debu Mitra, however, believed Mumbai themselves were responsible for the mess they were in."I would not like to name individuals but they bowled poorly and allowed us to score runs freely," he told Mid-Day. "Whatever the nature of the wicket, if you do not bowl to a plan and in the right areas, then you are not going to get wickets. Mumbai failed to do that."
"We declared overnight because we wanted to use the freshness in the wicket. And it paid off thanks to Jadeja. He stuck to his plan and swung the ball well."
Rajasthan 267 for 3 (Bishnoi 93*, Bist 86*) trail Hyderabad 553 for 6 by 286 runs
An unbeaten 174-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Rajesh Bishnoi and Robin Bist defied Hyderabad and raised hopes of Rajasthan escaping with a draw. Faced with a massive Hyderabad first-innings total, Rajasthan had slipped to 93 for 3 before Bishnoi and Bist got stuck in.
At stumps at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Bishnoi was on a career-best 93 while Bist was 14 runs short of a maiden first-class century.
Earlier in the day, the visitors initially capitalised on every reprieve they got. Acting skipper Arjun Yadav - VVS Laxman is recuperating from his heel injury - could not be faulted for initially leaving the third slip vacant so as to lure the batsmen into the drive.
However, Shoaib Ahmed, a right-arm medium-pacer, removed openers Vineet Saxena (13) and Gagan Khoda (40) and his fellow new-ball operator Munagala Praneet Arjun kept Rajasthan's captain Venugopal Rao to 20. Bishnoi and Bist, two of Rajasthan's more promising batsmen, forged a strong partnership in 67.1 overs. Rajasthan still face a stiff task to draw this match, but the flatness of the track may yet assist them if the not out duo dig deeper.
Punjab 60 and 256 for 5 (Goel 58, Kaul 50*, Debasis Mohanty 4-50) trail Orissa by 36 runs
Like Rajasthan, Punjab batted their way towards safety against Orissa in Bhubaneswar, but the final day will still prove to be a long one. Down a wicket when play resumed, Punjab lost just four more on the way to 246 for 5, with Karan Goel (58), Uday Kaul (50*) and Ankur Kakkar (77*) impressing after first-innings failures.
Not for the first time in his long career, Debasis Mohanty had the most success for Orissa. He took three of the four wickets to fall and had figures of 4 for 50 by the close. Mohanty struck with the first ball of the day, trapping Ravi Inder Singh lbw for 35. The veteran Pankaj Dharmani went at 101 for 3, bowled by left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh after adding 42 with Goel, following which Mohanty had Goel lbw and Taruvar Kohli dismissed in succession. Kaul and Kakkar had added 115 by stumps, leaving Punjab needing to bat out the last day.
Maharashtra 221 and 199 for 7 (Jadhav 65, Shilamkar 56) lead Uttar Pradesh 315 (Fallah 5-93) by 105 runs
Hosts Uttar Pradesh took seven wickets in 76 overs and by stumps at the Green Park in Kanpur, Maharashtra led by 105. UP led by 69 when they resumed on 290 for 6 but Samad Fallah, the left-arm medium-pacer, took 5 for 93 to dismiss them for 315. Half-centuries from Kedar Jadhav (65) and Deepak Shilamkar (56) stood out among the fall of wickets and Maharashtra finished the day struggling to notch their first win of the season.
RP Singh went wicketless in 19 overs, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Imtiyaz Ahmed found success and reduced Maharashtra to 96 for 4. While UP could not prevent Jadhav and Shilamkar, in his second match, from adding 99, slow left-armer Praveen Gupta snapped up both batsmen for the addition of a single run. At the same score, Piyush Chawla bowled Rohit Motwani for 0.
Gujarat 350 and 76 for 0 lead Delhi 314 (Nagar 79, Parmar 4-104) by 112 runs
Gujarat took a handy lead over Delhi going into the final day at Valsad, but their slow start to the second innings indicated they were not entirely pushing to win their second game of the season. Delhi were dismissed for 314 from an overnight 199 for 6, with spinner Mohnish Parmar taking four wickets and Siddharth Trivedi three. Gujarat's openers put on 76 in 31 overs - a run rate of 2.45 - indicating they were opting to bat out a draw.
For Delhi, debutant Yogesh Nagar top scored with 79 from 210 balls. There were further lower order contributions from Sumit Narwal (48) and Chetanya Nanda (25*) as Delhi moved on slowly. Trivedi dismissed Nagar and Narwal and Parmar took the last two wickets. In Gujarat's second innings, Priyank Kirit Panchal batted 91 balls for his 42 and Nilesh Modi used up 97 balls for his 26.
Umpire Sameer Bandekar has been known to get into the news for the wrong reasons. On Tuesday, a contentious decision by him spoilt an interesting battle. The Delhi team have lodged an official complaint with match referee Sunil Gudge over the verdict which cost Nagar his wicket.
Bandekar upheld wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel's appeal for a catch off Siddharth Trivedi, reducing Delhi to 293 for 8, and effectively ending any hopes of the visiting team overhauling Gujarat's first-innings total.
Baroda 169 and 204 for 4 (Williams 97*, Solanki 66) trail Karnataka 395 (Naidu 90, Dravid 83, Joshi 55, Akhil 66) by 22 runs
Connor Williams and Rakesh Solanki tried their best to stave off defeat but two late wickets to two superb catches left Baroda with too much to do on the last day. Baroda are 22-runs short of wiping Karnataka's 226-run lead but have only six wickets left and an entire day to contend with tomorrow. And their hopes would rest on Williams, who is on an unbeaten 97. (Read the full report.)